Monday, March 26, 2012

the beach in march

We had a beautiful 85 degree day last week when my parents were visiting and we decided to spontaneously head to the beach for the afternoon. Snacks, toys, and towels packed we headed off.  We decided to try a local beach that's on the bay this time.  I had heard that it's a great place for families - lots smaller waves.  And it was - it was PERFECT.  The kids were able to splash around and play (although we thought the water was freezing, they didn't mind at all!)  and it wasn't so scary since the waves are much smaller and don't knock them over.  I think this will be a regular thing for our family...if I can convince Titus that sand is not a food group.  Here's our day at the beach in photos:

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Middle

Today I had the rare opportunity to spend a few hours alone with my girl.  It doesn't happen often.  I get one on one time with Boden when Claire and Titus nap in the afternoon, and one on one time with Titus because he's the baby and he is pretty much always with me.  But today, Claire had a Dr appt and my parents were visiting, so they stayed home with the boys and we girls headed off...

 - after getting our "earrings" on first, of course.  

She asked when we got in the car "Titus coming? Boden coming?" unusual for her to go somewhere with me alone.  We often make it a point to take time out with Boden - he and Michael go on a special "boys night out" a few times a month, or go to Starbucks and hangout.  It made me realize that I really need to be intentional about spending time with Claire one on one.

I really enjoyed our morning together.  She loved that I was able to carry her a lot - something that doesn't happen much with a baby brother.  

After her appointment, instead of rushing home I decided to capitalize on our girls day out, so we stopped by the cafe in the lobby of the hospital, got a big chocolate chip cookie, and headed outside.  

we found a sweet little fountain across the street 

enjoyed our cookie on the bench

talked excitedly about her newly aquired strawberry shortcake sticker

curiously checked out the fountain

 and watched the city buses with awe.  

I asked her if she was ready to go home and see her brothers and she looked at me and said "no.  i just want to stay right here."  I was a bit surprised - she loves her "buddies", as she lovingly calls them.  She gets excited when Boden gets home from preschool or when Titus wakes up from a nap.  But today, I think she was loving some mama time.  And I was loving it too.

Being the middle child isn't always easy (coming from a middle child myself), sometimes the middle child feels like the older one gets all the privileges and the younger one gets all the attention, and sometimes I feel like Claire missed out a bit on being the baby since Titus came along so quickly after her.  But, today I was reminded that it doesn't matter the birth order or how close in age my kids are, or how many of them there are....I HAVE to be intentional about spending time with each of them...and making that time count.  Today could have gone a lot differently, it didn't start out as a mommy/daughter date.  I could have rushed to and from the appointment, seeing it as an interruption to my day... but instead, I saw an opportunity and I chose to slow down and enjoy it.  I chose to ignore my phone while in the waiting room and instead play with my daughter.   I chose to get on her level and talk about what interests her.  I even chose to eat a chocolate chip cookie when I didn't want to (ok, ok, that one's a lie.  no one twisted my arm there.)

It was a good day.  I'm so thankful for my precious daughter.  She is full of laughter and brings immeasurable joy to our family.  

(And for those of you wondering - her appt went great.  Her hearing is just fine and we decided to hold off on getting a second set of ear tubes for now. )